Letters to the Editor

Saturday, Jan 19 2013 10:00 PM

Time for restrictions in violent entertainment

By The Bakersfield Californian

The cinema/TV/gamer guys are trying to have it both ways. They want to distance their products from any correlation with gun violence and deaths -- claiming no proof that screen violence necessarily causes the behavior leading to shootings. But on the other hand, with billions of dollars, they saturate the screens with advertising specifically targeting our behavior. Furthermore, their motives and methods are backed by studies and surveys. Granted, not everyone rushes to buy popcorn, Milk Duds, or a new Xbox -- and even fewer decide to shoot people. But screen media does impact people's behavior, to one degree or another. And the execs know it.

As it is obvious that murderers have no regard for the law, more gun laws seem like a futile idea. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh proved mass murder requires no firearms. But since there is denial from major stakeholders -- media and gun people -- any restriction on firearms should be, by law, matched with a commensurate restriction on guns depicted in the screen media. Maybe we treat media of mass killing the same way we treat media of an extremely sexual nature -- maybe not just a separate rating, but a separate, adult theater. Or maybe a total ban on media of mass killing, as we've done with media depicting juvenile sex. Maybe it won't help -- but shouldn't we find out?

Wyatt Ross

Bakersfield

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